New Policies Crush Uzbek Business

by Laurence on 9/2/2004 · 2 comments

New regulations requiring businesses to trade through approved state companies are ruining trade in Uzbekistan, according to reports in Ferghana.ru. Of course, anyone who lived in Tashkent knows that sometimes complete reversals of direction do manage to take place, usually after considerable suffering by the population–the shutting and reopening of public markets a couple of years ago is one example–so let’s hope–for the sake of the Uzbek economy– there will be a move towards more pro-business policies in the near future.

Here’s an excerpt from Ferghana.Ru’s story

Instead of thinking that the new resolution aims to make life easier for businessmen, most traders are of the opinion that it aims to restrict trade and reduce independent private sector in commerce as such. Off the record, businessmen openly admit that the decision was initiated by certain men who sit on the government and have their personal fiscal interests to promote. Uzbek businessmen’s worries are understandable. Thousands and thousands of vendors and small-time businessmen went broke after a series of government resolutions and decrees concerning “restoration of order in commerce” in 2002. Unheard-of trade duties were introduced to make imported goods prohibitively expensive. Numerous restrictions were imposed. Among other things, the authorities banned wholesale commerce for individuals. All of that was accompanied by numerous extreme actions like decisions to close bazaars, clashes with the police, and mass confiscation of goods (sometimes worth thousands and thousands of dollars). Even the goods imported long before adoption of the resolutions were confiscated. There were reports in Internet on confiscation quotas established by the authorities. The local authorities were instructed to confiscate a certain sum worth of commodities, sell them at special stores, and transact the money to the state budget. Whoever complained to courts said that they were told off the record, “No use, guy. What was yours has been already sold. Orders, you know. We are helpless…”


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{ 2 comments }

Art September 3, 2004 at 4:27 pm

Morrocco just got status as the ‘Gateway to the Middle East’ from Bush and a big trade agreement with the US. It may have something to do with Kerry’s Foreign Policy Advisor(Director Morrrocco). They are very successful at what they do and its interesting to see all the Peace Corps(RPCV) connections.

Art September 3, 2004 at 4:35 pm

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